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Match Report -
Demolition Derby
By Debbie Taylor

From the opening, Hyde must have known they were never going to win this one.

Celtic played like the game was for the silverware. From the off, Parr won the ball (it was a Hyde kick-off!) and fed it our to Evans, who raced past two slack defenders, and squared the ball to Sullivan, who beat his marker with a drop of the shoulder and then the keeper with the ball, a classic side footed goal.

Hyde tried to reply, but the back four of Ward, Filson, Crookes and Locke were having none of it - blocking every route to goal with excellent tackling and blocks. To bolster the defence, Pickford, Parr and even Sullivan were tracking back, and getting in excellent challenges. In a ten minute spell, Hyde managed just three chances from distance, Banim and Hall blazing skyward, and Tobin almost putting it out for a throw in, it went that close to the corner flag!

Celtic forced Hyde backwards, gaining more and more of the possession, resulting in Sullivan breaking down the wing, and cutting inside with a one two off Ward. He somehow wriggled between two defenders, but saw his shot deflected for a corner. Bauress put in the perfect ball, that Jones met full on, a classic header.

Celtic didn't rest on a two goal lead. They played as though it was nil-nil with two minutes remaining. Every tackle had to count. Another corner was headed goal bound by Jones, to be knocked out as far as Parr, who struck a sweet shot through a crowd of bodies, the ball was deflected for a second corner. This time, Filson knocked it goal bound, to see it scrambled off the line by Foster, only for Jones to kick it back in - and have the keeper block it out. Evans tried a turn and shot into the bottom corner, only for a foot to snake out and have it cleared off the line.

Hyde were under increasing pressure. Another trio of corners saw Evan's shot deflected wide, Pickford's shot blocked on the line, and Filson's header clawed out of the air by an under strain Edgington between the Hyde sticks.

The pressure had to tell, and during another bout of corners, Filson caught the ball on the edge of the box, and controlled it expertly, to lob it into the six yard box. Jones stretched out a leg, and cheekily, or by accident, lobbed the keeper. Filson almost got onto the score sheet in the dying minutes of the half, but saw his goal bound header tipped over the bar by a full stretch Tiger keeper.

The second half saw a Hyde subsititution, and Rimmer's first task was to get in the way of Filson, after Sullivan forced another corner and Filson could only head over. Rimmer was soon down the other end, tamely shooting towards goal, which Ingham collected without moving.

At three nil up, Sullivan tried a cheeky one from a Ward cross, handballing the ball goal bound (he missed - and will never make the volleyball team). He received a yellow card for his antics. A card Celtic could do without!

A minute later, and Jones latched onto a defensive error, intercepting a crossfield ball, to race towards the keeper and slot it to his left. His hat-trick and Celtic's fourth! It could have been a rout, but Hyde had other ideas, and the Celtic defence was called into action for the last twenty-five minutes. Wilson saw that this was the case, and took Evans off, replacing him with Howard.

Crookes blocked a powerful shot - with his head, and needed treatment. Locke cleared off the line, after Ingham just tipped the ball over Tobin's head. Ingham was again in action saving to his right from Taylor, and then again, from Tobin. Hyde seemingly could not get past the best defence in the League, wasting any chances they got by skying them, or putting them into a different postcode from the net.

Despite the Hyde pressure, Celtic were not sitting back. They had a couple more corners, all won by Sullivan's persistance up the right wing. He even had time in the dying minutes to snap off a shot, which went narrowly past the left upright.

The last ten minutes were played in a deluge. The rain making the pitch slippy.

The Hyde goal came from nothing really. Hanson received the ball about thirty yards out, and must have decided that he couldn't get through the defence, so he shot. The slippy pitch played a part, as they ball skidded and slipped towards goal, and deflected past Ingham after hitting a divot. A true consollation goal.

With only minutes to play, Hyde tried to add to their token scoreline, but wasted their two free kicks and corner.

All in all, a fantastic win, with some excellent passing play from Celtic, and defending from a different league. Bring on the Macc Lads (or County, depending on who wins!)

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